I'm bald

My attending, subtle she ain't. The other day, I was writing something, and she says to me, "Why are you bald?" Ego currently has physical findings significant for hematoma and ecchymoses.

Where did my hair go, anyway? Seems sort of unfair. I used to have a whole lot of hair, but now things are kind of on the thin side. I thought about Propecia and stuff like that, but I sort of just said screw it. I have enough hair that my life isn't ending, and honestly, I'm not sure I want to date a woman that cares how much hair I have on my head.

But I do miss my hair. Where did it all go?

Happy Easter

I went to Easter Vigil on Saturday. I've been to Easter Vigil services as long as I can remember. It's a beautiful service, probably the best mass Catholicism has to offer.

The best part about Easter Vigil is if the church has an RCIA program, because the new Catholics are welcomed into the church on Easter Vigil. And it's beautiful to watch someone welcomed into the church as an adult. Sure, it's cute watching babies baptized, and even the kiddies going through communion and confirmation, but it's a different story for adults. It's a long and difficult process.

And watching them being baptized and confirmed, it's wonderful. It's such a pleasant reminder that God's always calling, if we're willing to listen. He's out there for us, calling us too. And sometimes, it's good to be reminded of that.

I had to round today, and I didn't get a chance to go to church. It's the first time I've missed Easter day services since... well... ever. I've never missed an Easter service before. I can even remember going as a kid, even when my mom was working. She made us go even though she couldn't.

I like going to Easter service. I'd much rather be at church than at the hospital, but my mom reminded me of what my old pastor told us once. It's not okay to skip out on patients to go to church, even if it is Easter. It's not okay to leave that kind of obligation behind, because that was the work God called us to do. The gift of healing, it's a special calling, and Jesus himself didn't stop for the sabbath or because he had to go to temple.

My job is to heal, and I wanted that job because it's what I thought God wanted me to do. And so I take that job with some gravity, and even though I'm kind of sad that for the first time in my life I missed Easter, I don't feel bad about it. Because I was Easter for my patients. I'd like to think that I don't need a dispensation for that.


Finally, being a doctor has paid off. I beat a speeding ticket. I still feel bad, pulling out the doctor trump card, but man, it's like the first time that I've been speeding in years. But it's nice to know that the MD has some benefit in my life.

Good-bye, Terri

This Terri Schiavo thing is really quite ridiculous. I mean, really, this is something that I deal with on practically a daily basis. I've had plenty of patients die from withdrawal of life sustaining efforts. Happens all the time.

It really disturbs me that people are so up in arms about this. People die from shootings, from violence, from poverty, from neglect and abuse, and it's Terri Schiavo that people get up in arms about. Some might say that all life is precious, and to them I say why aren't they protesting in the inner city? Why aren't they protesting at Death Row? Why aren't they protesting at the soup kitchens and homeless shelters and orphanages?

I really do blame the parents. This is not the fault of her husband. He's doing what any reasonable human being would do. Her parents, I know them, or at least I've met people like them. They never saw the eating disorder. They never realized that she hated herself and was so torn about her own existence. They did not understand her. They might have even ignored her. Now, they tell themselves, "It's not too late to make amends. This will show her how much we care. This will show everyone."

The Catholic position is very much pro-feeding tube, and Ms. Schiavo was Catholic. And I know that as a Catholic, I should support these lunatics, but I can't. Me and the Pope are not tight on this one. We ought to be able to decide just how much medicine we choose for ourselves. We ought to be able to say that enough's enough. Medicine has found a way to make the body live long after the mind and soul are gone. That's our crime, and we'll pay for it.

I hope that people can realize just what's happening here. They're asking to keep feeding something that has long since stopped being Terri Schiavo. They're trying to fill an empty shell. And for what? Mr. and Mrs. Schindler: she can't forgive you now. You're 15 years too late.

I stand corrected. I am in fact consistent with the Catholic church and in this case, the removal of the feeding tube is not contrary to Catholic doctrine. Makes me feel a little better. -IF 4/3/05

Things of my youth

There was a time when I was an anime fiend. For those of you not in the know, anime is the term used for Japanese animation. The reason why people go nuts over anime is that it has production value to it that rivals big budget US movies. There is a lot of stuff out there with superlative writing and direction and it's amazing stuff.

It's been a while since I've been into anime. I kind of gave it up. When you're doing the med school thing, you have to give up on some things that used to seem so important. I don't really draw anymore, and that used to be my life. I still have boxes of sketchbooks lying around. I've only recently tried to get back into photography, and the rust shows.

Anime, it's not something I ever plan to get back into. It's not that it was a passing phase or anything like that. I mean, damn, I used to run a club and everything. It's just not where I am anymore. But still, there are some things that I enjoy. Today, I sat down and watched Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind which was recently released by Disney on DVD. It was one of my favorite anime movies, and surprisingly, it still manages to affect me like it used to.

Nowadays, it's hard for me to separate things out. It's hard for me to figure out if I love the movie as much as I love the times when I first watched it, when I was getting into anime and watching it with my friends, and all the fantastic times we had together. I can't figure out anymore if it's the movie that tears me up, or if it's the memories of the movie.

You know, youth is an elusive thing. Sometimes, the memories are so precious that I don't want to remember them, because it hurts. And it's a good kind of hurt, but it still hurts nonetheless.


In college, the longest that I went without sleep was 50 hours. By the end of it, I was actually hallucinating. It was a strange experience, and afterwards, I slept for 20 hours straight. Of course, I'm not a college student anymore.

Now, in my old age, being on call pretty much wipes me out, and that's a good night of call, where I can get a few hours of sleep. My last call was not such a night. I slept a total of 5 minutes. So, I went 33 hours with a total of 5 minutes of rest, not counting when I fell asleep during sign out. I did some errands, went to Best Buy to drool on new digital cameras, then went home. My plan was to figure out what to eat for dinner after a little TV.

7 hours later, I wake up in front of my TV and wonder where the day went. And I'm still tired. And I'm sick. My body hurts and my mind is cloudy, still trying to figure out what happened.

The truth about residency is that it's punishing. It's a grueling exercise where people expect you to be mentally focused 24-7, and the truth of the matter is that you just can't be that sharp. You wade through and try to stay on your toes, but really, it's a miracle if you can get home and remember that you were supposed to buy some cleaning supplies and something to eat for dinner.

So sleepy...

I'm on call again. More medicine inpatient. Blah. It's beating me up and I've just caved. I don't even try to fight it anymore. I just plug along, a cog in a clockwork that is grinding me down, day by day.

And worse yet, I'm without coffee. It hurts. I gave up coffee for Lent again this year, and albeit, my coffee intake has decreased substantially, but when you don't have coffee, you realize just how much you miss it: the smell, the warm bitterness. It's wonderful in a way that is not good.

I would like a cup of coffee right now, quite badly, but I'd also like to be in Mexico, on a beach facing the warm waters of the Caribbean, sipping beer and getting a nice tan.

Overall, I'd take Mexico to coffee, but something tells me that Mexico won't happen anytime soon.


I know I haven't updated in a while. Life is... hectic. I'm doing medicine rotation after medicine rotation after medicine rotation... you get the idea. I'm just beat. I'm tired and I'm ready to call it quits. I just want to endorse foot cream and be done with the practice of medicine.

Part of me still loves seeing patients in the clinic and having patients of my very own, but it really seems pointless after some days, like today, where I spent 20 minutes more or less arguing with a patient about laxatives.

Flickr is crack

Sorry I haven't been updating much. I've been doing a lot of stuff on Flickr. My ifinding account is pretty stagnant, but my personal account, I've been dumping photos into it. It's really gotten me back into photography, not that I have the time, skill, patience, or decent optics, but I used to love photography.

I was one of those people that actually had an opinion on these things. I didn't like autofocus SLR because I thought it was too limiting. I spent time (a whole lot of time) thinking about what f stop to use, and light metering to make sure all elements of the shot came out how I wanted it to.

When you're working with film, that's the price you pay, I guess. Still, what fun. The only problem I have now is that the Midwest is kind of boring. I just don't have anything to take a picture of. I carry my camera around, but I almost have to force myself to shoot pics. Still, I'm working on composition again and framing.

You know, it's nice to have a hobby again. It's nice to feel like my life is more than the hospital.


I'm really getting tired of residency. Just month after month of inpatient medicine. It's killing me slowly, like carbon monoxide. I think I'm just griping because I've been working 13 days in a row now, and my next day off is a week from today. YUCK!

When you work these many days in a row, you just honestly stop caring. Stuff just doesn't matter anymore. There's nothing you can do to motivate yourself because it's all shit. I'm here, I'm seeing patients, I'm doing my job, but it's token effort.

I can't wait to have another day off. It's been so long.